Sacred Texts  Buddhism  Index  Previous  Next 


1. Now when the Blessed One had remained at the Kitâ Hill as long as he thought fit, he proceeded on his journey towards Âlavî; and in due course he arrived at Âlavî, and there, at Âlavî, the Blessed One stayed at the Aggâlava Shrine.

Now at that time the Bhikkhus of Âlavî 2 used to

p. 213

give new building operations in charge (to one or other of their number) 1, such as the following 2 when some clay or earth had merely to be put aside in heaps, when a wall had merely to be re-plastered, when a door had merely to be made, when the socket for a bolt had merely to be made, when some joinery-work had merely to be done to a window, when some whitewashing merely had to be done, or some black colouring laid on, or some red colouring 3, or some roofing-work, or some joinery, or a bar had to be fixed to a door 4, when breaches or decay had merely to be repaired 5, or the flooring to be re-plastered 6; and they assigned this office to one another for terms of twenty or thirty years, or

p. 214

for life; or they gave in charge a completely finished Vihâra to a Bhikkhu for such time as should elapse till the smoke rose (from the funeral pyre on which his body should be burnt 1).

The moderate Bhikkhus murmured, &c. (as usual, down to) The Blessed One said to the Bhikkhus:

'You are not, O Bhikkhus, to confer the office of building overseer when clay has merely to be put aside in heaps . . . . (&c., as before, down to) body shall be burnt. Whosoever shall so confer it, shall be guilty of a dukkata. I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to give a Vihâra not yet begun, or not yet finished 2, in charge as a new building. And with reference to the work on a small Vihâra, it may be given in charge as a navakamma for a period of five or six years, that on an Addhayoga for a period of seven or eight years, that on a large Vihâra or a Pâsâda for ten or twelve years.'

2. Now at that time the Bhikkhus gave the whole of a Vihâra as a navakamma (to one Bhikkhu to superintend)--or two Vihâras to one Bhikkhu--or the Bhikkhu who had taken the work in charge got another (Bhikkhu to live there and take charge for him)--or the Bhikkhu who had taken in charge a

p. 215

building belonging to the Samgha kept exclusive possession of it--or the Bhikkhus gave work in charge to one not at that time within the boundary 1--or Bhikkhus who had once taken charge kept exclusive possession for all time.

They told [each of] these matters to the Blessed One.

'You are not, O Bhikkhus, to do [any one of these things]. Whosoever does, he is guilty of a dukkata. And the Bhikkhu in charge may take one good sleeping-place into his exclusive possession for the three months of the rainy, but not during the dry season.'

3. Now at that time Bhikkhus who had taken charge of building operations left the place [or otherwise became incompetent in one or other of the twenty and three ways set out in the next paragraph 2].

They told this matter to the Blessed One.

'In case that occurs, O Bhikkhus, as soon as he has taken charge, or before the building has been completed, let the office be given to another lest there should be loss to the Samgha. In case the building has been completed, O Bhikkhus, if he then leaves the place, it (the office and its privileges) is still his--if he then returns to the world, or dies, or admits that he is a sâmanera, or that he has abandoned the precepts, or that he has become guilty of an extreme offence, the Samgha

p. 216

becomes the owner 1--if he then admits that he is mad, or that his mind is unhinged, or that he is afflicted with bodily pain, or that he has been suspended for his refusal to acknowledge an offence, or to atone for an offence, or to renounce a sinful doctrine, it (the office and its privileges) is still his--if he then admits that he is a eunuch, or that he has furtively attached himself to the Samgha, or that he has gone over to the Titthiyas, or that he is an animal, or that he has murdered his mother, or his father, or an Arahat, or that he has violated a Bhikkhunî, or that he has caused a schism in the Samgha, or that he has shed (a Buddha's) blood, or that he is an hermaphrodite, then the Samgha becomes the owner.'


212:2 The Bhikkhus of Âlavî are frequently mentioned in connection p. 213 with offences in relation to the navakammam. See, for instance, Pârâgika III, 5, 30.

213:1 For the rule authorising such giving in charge in general cases, see above, VI, 5.

213:2 For most of the following technical terms in building, see our notes above on Kullavagga V, 11, and V, 1, 2.

213:3 See our note on this phrase above, V, 11, 6.

213:4 Gandikadhâna-mattenâ ti dvâra-bâhânam upari-kapota-gandika-yogana-mattena (B.). Gandi is used in this sense at Gâtaka I, 237. Compare the use of Dhamma-gandikâ, 'block of execution,' at Gâtaka I, 150, II, 124. The word gandikâ occurs also at Gâtaka I, 474 (last line), in the sense of 'bunch:' but it is there probably a misprint; for Oldenberg, in the parallel passage at Bhikkhunî-vibhaṅga, Pâkittiya I, 1, reads bhandike. That the two words are easily confused in Burmese writing is shown by the fact that the Berlin (Burmese) copy of Buddhaghosa reads here also bhandikâdhâna-mattenâ ti, &c., and again afterwards bhandika.

213:5 See our note on this phrase above, VI, 5, 2.

213:6 Paribhanda-karana-mattenâ ti gomaya-paribhanda-kasâva-parikarana-mattena (B.). The very same expression is used in a wholly doubtful sense, and of some process of tailoring, in. Mahâvagga VII, 1, 5.

214:1 Dhûmakâlikan ti idam yâv’ assa kitaka-dhûmo na paññâyatîti tâva ayam vihâro etass’ evâ ti evam dhûma-kâle apaloketvâ kata-pariyositam vihâram denti (B.). The word recurs below, applied to sikkhâpadam, in XI, 1, 9.

214:2 Vîppakatan ti ettha vippakato nâma yâva gopânasiyo na ârohanti. Gopânasîsu pana ârulhâsu bahukato nâma hoti: tasmâ tato patthâya na dâtabbo (B.). The use of bahukato is noteworthy. for in the only other passage where we have found the word (Mahâvagga VI, 36, 2), it has a totally different application. There is possibly a misreading in the one MS. available. (? pakato.)

215:1 See above, VI, 11, 3.

215:2 See Mahâvagga II, 22, 3, and II, 36, 1-3. In the latter of these two passages the three cases are omitted. In Mahâvagga IX, 4, 2, and 8, the whole 23 are given.

216:1 That is, the navakammiko loses his privileges (his lien on the best sleeping-place, &c.).

Next: Chapter 18